A collection of ephemera that either inspired or formed creative explorations and thinkings towards the development of HikeDance and MemoryDance.
A MemoryDance Stamp
As an exploration of how memories of places remain in our bodies and leave lasting traces throughout our lives. Nancy Martin and I splashed blue and yellow paint on a plastic sheet. Nancy then danced a MemoryDance on the sheet. Her feet created patterns; an abstract trace of her journey through her memory. We then stamped the arrangement of the paint onto a long piece of butcher's paper. This is the imprint that remains from her dance.
A HikeDance Stamp
As an exploration of how the immediate physical experience of a place can leave a permanent imprint in the body and memory I splashed red, blue and yellow paint on a plastic sheet. I then stood on the sheet, allowing the slight tilt of the ground to make me slip and slide. As I explored the texture of the rough concrete I could feel through the sheet I played with the particular muscularity I needed in order to not slip over. All the while my feet created patterns authored by this experience. I then stamped the arrangement of the paint onto a long piece of butcher's paper. This is the imprint that remains from that moment.
A Sketch of the Meadow's Topography
The Meadow, found along the Room with a View track at Dinner Plain, was the first location at which we explored the possibilities of HikeDance. The 'X' at 1546m marks the approximate location of our explorations.
A Sketch of the Razorback's Topography II
The Razorback is a ridgeline that runs from the base of Mt. Hotham for about 11km to Mt Feathertop. It is almost entirely above the tree-line, making it feel like you can touch the clouds or reach out and trace the vast ocean of mountain peaks and ridges that stretch further than you can see. The 'X' at 1733m marks the approximate location of where we traced the topography of the mountains and valleys that reach away from Mt. Hotham.
Beginning Thoughts About Land II ...
But in Connemara you can see centuries of existence ... the landscape is not contrived, even the roads wind unapologetically through the landscape; bumpy, twisty and rolly little things that will not compromise their character or deny their heritage simply for the convenience of those who find themselves travelling along them. I’m saddened to be leaving a place from which I know I still have much to learn! I will be back.
- Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. July 1, 2018
Room with a view - Meadow
Breath comes easily. So fresh and clear. Like my lungs have the space and permission to expand fully. it seems silent though it's not. The sound of crickets is like the ringing in your ears only with more of a pulse: a heart beat's mimicry of silence. The thick, tufty grass is spiky and soft, it depends on how you approach it. So calm and settled but then alert and a little on edge when the rustling of leaves intensifies with a column of wind rushing up the hill. The clouds are like big graceful whales and I am under the sea, they are majestic but also a little ominous... I feel the height of the mountain beneath me. We are protected by a fortress of trees which also makes us vulnerable as we can't see past this meadow. The spindly ghostlike branches.
A Sketch of the Razorback's Topography I
The Razorback is a ridgeline that runs from the base of Mt. Hotham for about 11km to Mt Feathertop. It is almost entirely above the tree-line, making it feel like you can touch the clouds or reach out and trace the vast ocean of mountain ridges that stretch further than you can see. The 'X' at 1708m marks the approximate location of where we explored the qualities of the low hanging clouds.
A Sketch of Johanna Beach's Topography
Johanna Beach is part of the wild coastline of south-west Victoria. It is named after a ship that was wrecked in its turbulent waters. The 'X' at 5m marks the location of the coastal iteration of HikeDance.
Beginning Thoughts About Land I ...
Not until I felt the land beneath my bare feet, the salt in my hair and the ocean seeping into my blood did I fall into rhythm with this wildly unapologetic landscape. There is nothing contrived about the way the rocks and hills and lakes and gorse and ruins and homes and roads all tumble about bumping into one another.
- Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. June 31, 2018
Beginning Thoughts About Land III ...
When I stepped off the plane the sky seemed too blue and the world too bright ... my senses were rebelling, but the gentleness of the eucalyptus smell awoke in me a comfort I'd forgotten. I'd been away long enough to become a stranger to my beloved homeland. Slowly my senses have been coaxed home. The grass is a dull yellow and the heat haze fades out the colours. I soaked this body in my country's water. My country's sun draws out the sweat from my bones as I journey back to a strange homeland; to all her wildness and harshness. I feel the dirt under my feet and the heat tickling my cheeks. The valleys and ridges and rivers and gums patiently await my resistance to cease. Their gentleness has quietened my flighty heart and I feel the weight of my bones settle back in my skin. I sit on my ridge, and on her ancient spine I have the space to breath deeply and know. I’m home.
- Victoria, Australia. February, 2019